Tatzu Nishi "What if someone finds out?!"


poster for Tatzu Nishi "What if someone finds out?!"

This event has ended.

Nishi has been living in Germany since 1987 and now practices mainly in Europe, executing large-scale projects around the world that focus on the notion of public space. His representative works construct living room-like spaces that enclose everyday public objects such as town monuments and street lamps. By transforming public structures into private spaces, Nishi demolishes the notion of the everyday and provokes an intense frisson of excitement in the viewer. Upon entering a prefab-like house hung atop a scaffold that has suddenly materialized in the middle of the city, the audience encounters a sculpture casually adorning the top of a desk, reincarnated in a personal residence as a living room object that up until a few days ago was a public monument.

Starting with the “Beautiful Life?” exhibition held at the Contemporary Art Center, Art Tower Mito in 2002, Nishi has been exhibiting his work widely in recent years at the 2005 Yokohama Triennale, the Maison Hermes in 2006, the Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art, the Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, and Akasaka Art Flower in 2008, leaving audiences astounded each time.

Nishi's works ‒ in particular "Villa Kaihoutei," a "hotel" installed at the Yokohama Triennale which turned a gazebo in a Chinatown park into a bed canopy, as well as "Cheri in the Sky," in which he permanently encased a statue of a cavalryman lording over the top of the Maison Hermes in Ginza ‒ focus on extraordinary bodily sensations and experiences that linger in the memory. In addition, Nishi is active on an international level, showing work at the Medellin International Art Festival 07 (Colombia, 2007), the Nantes Biennale (France, 2007), the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA, 2005), and the Liverpool Biennale (England, 2002).

In addition to working from the premise that "art is something that comes into existence through the presence of the viewer," Nishi also situates his work in public space, where anyone ‒ even those without a specific purpose or attitude, or those without a place in an art-oriented hierarchy ‒ can participate in the viewership of art. By taking an intentionally uncomplicated approach that makes it clear that this suddenly-encountered object is a work of art, Nishi catches audiences with their guard down, jolting their senses while questioning what it is exactly that constitutes art from a variety of perspectives. The "laughter, violence and sexiness" that Nishi has declared to be keywords for his work are all intrinsic human attributes we share in common, and by imbuing his works with them, Nishi awakens through art the intelligence, sensitivity and imaginative power that we inherently possess.

Nishi sets up a direct confrontation between art and monumental public spaces ‒ in other words, between art and the chaos of life and society ‒ continuing to expand and challenge the boundaries of our imagination.

For this exhibition, Nishi will use the small, characterless, neither public nor private space of the gallery to exhibit an installation, new photographs of projects executed in Japan, drawings and more.



From 2009-05-09 To 2009-06-13

Opening Reception on 2009-05-09 from 18:00 to 20:00


Tatzu Nishi



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